This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to improve your website experience and provide more personalized services to you, both on this website and through other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy. We won't track your information when you visit our site. But in order to comply with your preferences, we'll have to use just one tiny cookie so that you're not asked to make this choice again.

Saudi airline suspends flights to Toronto

Saudi’s spat with Canada continued on Monday as Riyadh announced the suspension of training, scholarships and fellowships for its students in that country, and Saudi Airlines suspended flights to and from Toronto from August 13.

The Saudi government is cancelling its funded scholarships for almost 12000 students in Canada, local media reported on Monday. It also announced that plans were under way to transfer those students and their dependents to other countries.

Shortly after, Saudi Arabian airlines announced the suspension of its flights to and from Toronto. The airline said it would cover cancellation fees, find alternative flights and issue refunds.

In its first response to the row, the Canadian foreign ministry said "we are seriously concerned by these media reports and are seeking greater clarity on the recent statement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”. Spokeswoman Marie-Pier Baril reiterated her country’s position “for the protection of human rights, very much including women's rights, and freedom of expression around the world".

"Our government will never hesitate to promote these values and believes that this dialogue is critical to international diplomacy” she said.

The Saudi government had rejected Canadian interference in its domestic affairs after calls by Canada for the release of Saudi activists who have been detained.

The Secretariat General of the Arab League and of the Gulf Co-operation council issued statements supporting the Saudi position on Monday.

Also according to the Saudi Press Agency, The Organization of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) expressed “full understanding of the Kingdom's position calling for non-interference”.

Saudi Arabia said on Monday it was expelling the Canadian ambassador and had recalled its envoy, while freezing business ties with Ottawa over what it called interference in its internal affairs.

"The kingdom announces that it is recalling its ambassador to Canada [Naif bin Bandar Al Sudairi] for consultation," the foreign ministry said.

The ministry said Canada’s ambassador had 24 hours to leave the country, and ­announced the “freezing of all new commercial and ­investment transactions” with Ottawa.

Ambassador Dennis Horak is also the Canadian representative to Yemen, Bahrain and Oman.

The Canadian embassy in Riyadh had said it was “gravely concerned” over the news of arrests of activists in the kingdom, accompanied by a tweet by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland expressing similar concerns.

“We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists,” the embassy tweeted on Friday.

Saudi Arabia’s response was unequivocal.

...[ Continue to next page ]

Source: thenational

Share This Post

related posts

On Top